By Ezra Shelato
Noah Feingold on the Illini Hillel upper deck Ilana Levy (right) in the Hillel Lobby
Editors note: This alumni Q/A was conducted through our Share Your Story Survey.
In this week’s Hillel Centennial blog post, we’ll hear from two different alumni about their time at Illini Hillel:
Daniel Checkman (DC) graduated from the University of Illinois in 1994.
Ilana Levy (Toch) (IL) graduated from the University of Illinois in 2012.
Noah Feingold (NF) graduated from the University of Illinois in 2016.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your time at Hillel?
DC: High Holiday services with Bill and Yetta Katz.
IL: Going to Pizzapalooza after Pesach ended.
NF: Sitting in the main area, kind of getting work done but really just
schmoozing with classmates and Hillel staff.
Q: What is one word you would use to describe your Hillel experience?
Q: What is one thing you’ve kept with you from your experience at Illini Hillel?
IL: A safe space to be joyfully jewish on a large college campus - a sense of a
NF: Hillel was a training ground for me to practice leadership in a safe space,
and build my confidence in tackling complex problems and projects. I took that
with me into my current job and I know it’s why I’ve been able to connect with
my peers and clients, resulting in recognition and greater fulfillment.
Q: What does Hillel mean to you?
DC: It's a center for Jewish life in an non-Jewish world.
NF: Hillel is a home for me and it always will be.
Q: How has Illini Hillel impacted you?
DC: It kept me engaged while on campus and has kept me informed about
issues surrounding Jewish life after leaving campus.
IL: It was a space for me to celebrate Jewish holidays with Jewish friends. A
place I would always feel comfortable.
NF: Illini Hillel introduced me to lifelong friends that I cherish to this day.
Q: What is something you would want to tell future generations about Hillel?
DC: Use its services and get involved!
IL: UIUC is so lucky to have the best Hillel!
NF: Just show up and be vulnerable - that alone will open you up to a lot of
positive experiences and new relationships!